Wendell
Brunious

is a proud product out of the New Orleans music scene. He was born into one of The Big Easy's prominent musical families. His father, John Brunious, played trumpet and piano attended Julliard Conservatory and wrote and arranged for Billy Eckstein, Cab Calloway and Jay Mc Shane. His mother, Nazimova Santiago Brunious was from the Santiago family, which was one the first families of jazz. His Uncle Willie Santiago was one of the first guitar players ever recorded, and at one time, worked with Buddy Bolden, the man credited with starting jazz.

Wendell grew-up playing trumpet and singing and did his first recording when he was only nine years old. He started to study the trumpet formally when he was eleven and his skills started to develop, but the biggest part of his development was listening to recordings. He listened to Louis Armstrong, Clifford Brown, Chet Baker, Nat “King” Cole, Clark Terry, Lee Morgan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat Adderly, Dizzy Gillespie and Freddie Hubbard. “This was my real school”, he comments. When he was fourteen, he started to play with The Olympia Brass Band and through his teens played around New Orleans with various bands. One year, during the New Orleans Jazz Fest, he got a call from the great Wallace Davenport, asking was he availabe to fill-in with the Lionel Hampton Big Band. Needless to say, Wendell jumped at the chance and eventually joined the band in New York.

Upon his return to New Orleans, he started to work with the Tuxedo Jazz Band, a trumpet chair once occupied by the greatest himself, Louis Armstrong. Years later, Wendell was asked to join and eventually lead the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a stint that lasted over twenty-three years. Since then, Wendell has toued with his own band the New Orleans All Stars all over the world. He has appeared at Carnagie Hall several times, the Barbican Centre in London, Heinz Hall in Pittsburg and Boston Symphony Hall.He has also done guest spots with everone from Chris Barber to Harry Connick, Jr. He can be heard on the soundtrack of the movie “Blaze”, starring Paul Newman and also on the Zatarains commercials. He can be seen playing the leading role in the beautiful romantic movie titled “Once”.

“Growing-up in New Orleans has allowed me to be around some of the greatest music and musicians in the world”, Wendell replies. ”To grow-up knowing and working with musicians such as, Wynton, Branford and Ellis Marsalis, Terrance Blanchard, Harry Connick, Jr., Herlin Riley, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Nicolas Payton has been wonderful”, he continues. ”It's great to know that you've been associated with the best in the world. It gives you a boost in knowlege and in confidence”.

Wendell has recorded and toured with an impressive array of jazz greats. This list reads like a who's who of jazz: Wynton Marsalis, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Al Gray, Bob Haggard, Dick Hyman, Joe Williams, Joe Sample, Harry Connick, Jr., The Olympia Brass Band, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Jessie Davis, Junior Mance, Alvin Queen and many others.

When asked for quotes about Wendell, Dave Bartholemew replies, “Nobody knows more about New Orleans music than Wendel Brunious”. Wynton Marsals is quoted as saying, ”Wendell can play New Orleans style and Bebop at the same time”. Wendell humbly contributes, “I'm just a guy blessed to be born into the family that I was, in the city of New Orleans and growing-up with the people that I grew-up with”.



Wendell Brunious

er en fornem repræsentant for New Orleans musikken. Han er i familie med nogle af "The Big Easy's" mest prominente musikere. Hans far, John Brunious, spillede trompet og piano, var uddannet på Julliard Music Conservatory og komponerede og arrangerede musik for bl.a. Billy Eckstein, Cab Calloway og Jay Mc Shane. Hans mor, Nazimova Santiago Brunious kom fra Santiago familien som var pionerer inden for jazzen. Hans onkel Willie Santiago var en af de første guitarister som blev indspillet og arbejdede i en periode sammen med Buddy Bolden som tilskrives æren for at have opfundet jazzen.

Wendell begyndte allerede som barn at spille trompet, og lavede sin første indspilning som 9 årig. Han begyndte for alvor at udvikle sit trompet spil som 11 årig. Hans vigtigste inspirations kilde var dog at lytte til indspilninger med Louis Armstrong, Clifford Brown, Chet Baker, Nat King Cole, Clark Terry, Lee Morgan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat Atterly, Dizzy Gillespie og Freddie Hubbard. Som han selv siger” This was my real school ”. Som 14årig begyndte han at spille i The Olympia Brass Band og spillede i teen-age årene med adskillige bands i New Orleans. Et år, under New Orleans Jazz Fest, blev han ringet op af selveste Wallace Davenport, som spurgte om han kunne tænke sig at komme med i Lionel Hamptons Big Band. Er det nødvendigt at sige at Wendell tog chancen og stødte til bandet i New York.

Da han vendte tilbage til New Orleans, overtog han den plads i Tuxedo Jazz Band som tidligere havde tilhørt den største af dem alle, Louis Armstrong. Senere blev Wendell bedt om at indtræde i og til sidst lede Preservation Hall Jazz Band, et job han bestred i over 23 år. Siden da har Wendell turneret over hele verden med sit eget band, the New Orleans All Stars. Han har optrådt adskillige gange i Carnagie Hall, Barbican Centre i London, Heinz Hall i Pittsburg og Boston Synphony Hall. Han har også været gæstesolist med adskillige bands fra Chris Barber til Harry Connick Jr. Han har medvirket på lydsporet til filmen ”Blaze” med Poul Newman i hovedrollen. Han spiller selv hovedrollen i den smukke romantiske film ”Once”.

“Growing-up in New Orleans has allowed me to be around some of the greatest music and musicians in the world”, udtaler Wendell. ”To grow-up knowing and working with musicians such as, Wynton, Branford and Ellis Marsalis, Terrance Blanchard, Harry Connick, Jr., Herlin Riley, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Nicolas Payton has been wonderful”, fortsætter han. Det er rart at vide at man har kendt de bedste i verden. Det giver en masse kundskaber og selvtillid.

Wendell har indspillet og turneret med et imponerende opbud af ”Jazz Giants” Listen minder om ”Who's Who of Jazz”. Wynton Marsalis, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Al Gray, Bob Haggard, Dick Hyman, Joe Williams, Joe Sample, Harry Connick, Jr., The Olympia Brass Band, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Jessie Davis, Junior Mance, Alvin Queen og mange andre.

Bedt om at udtale sig om Wendell, siger Dave Bartholemew, ”Ingen ved mere om New Orleans musik end Wendell Brunious”. Wynton Marsalis siger, ”Wendell kan spille New Orleans musik og Bebop på samme tid”. Dertil svarer Wendell ydmygt. Jeg er bare en fyr, som har været så heldig at blive født ind i den familie som jeg blev, og er opvokset i New Orleans med de mennesker, som jeg var så heldig at kende.

ANDRE SOLISTER